How to Grade Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls offer the widest range of shapes and natural colors

Probably the single most important thing to understand when learning about Pearl Grading in order to make an educated purchase decision is this: it is impossible to compare grades and grading systems from one company to another.

Unlike diamond grading, there is no standardized grading system for freshwater pearls. Every company in the world that grades and sells freshwater pearls is using a system that they themselves devised and created. Every system is subjective and every system is unique.

The following is the grading system we adhere to for freshwater pearls.

Pearl Grade

Description

Freshadama

Freshadama-grade pearls are loose-grade pearls, or pearls that have been selected individually prior to drilling and polishing for their exceptional quality characteristics. These pearls are typically sold wholesale as single pearls and pairs, undrilled. Freshadama™ strands are composed of these pearls; drilled and matched by us.

  • Highest grade of freshwater pearl
  • Exhibit intense luster and deeply reflective orient
  • Round
  • Clean surface
  • Top .01% of freshwater pearls produced today
  • Excellent matching

AAA

  • Highest non-loose pearl grade available in the market
  • Exhibit excellent luster
  • Round to the eye
  • Clean surface
  • Top 1% of freshwater pearls produced today
  • Excellent matching

AA+

  • Highest grade of freshwater pearl
  • Near round, appear perfect round from a yard away
  • Luster is good to strong
  • 95-100% Clean Surface
  • Top 5% of freshwater pearls produced today
  • Excellent to good matching

AA

  • Exhibit good to average luster
  • Near round to off-round
  • 80-100% Clean Surface
  • Pearl exhibits good to medium reflection
  • Top 10% of freshwater pearls produced today
  • Good to moderate matching

A

  • Exhibit average to low luster
  • Near round to off-round
  • 70-80% Clean Surface
  • Top 20% of freshwater pearls produced today
  • Good to moderate matching

Commercial

  • Exhibit average to no luster
  • Near round to off-round
  • Moderate to heavy blemishing